We live in a time of deep uncertainty. And yet, the Bible promises we were created to enjoy lives of freedom, even in times when the world around us seems filled with darkness. We were created to be overcomers, conquering the greatest obstacles in our lives.
In his new book, Overcomer, beloved teacher David Jeremiah offers his insights on one of the most quoted but least understood passages of the Bible: the apostle Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians to take up the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). With his signature depth, wisdom, and compassion, Dr. Jeremiah explores the powerful relevance of spiritual armor as a critical tool each day as we confront the specific challenges in our lives and of our time.
If you’ve had enough of living in defeat, it is time to find renewed strength and claim the promises of God’s Word to overcome life’s greatest threats.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
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About the Author
David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point, an international ministry committed to providing Christians with sound Bible teaching through radio and television, the Internet, live events, and resource materials and books. He is the author of more than fifty books, including Is This the End?, The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book, David Jeremiah Morning and Evening Devotions, and Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible. Dr. Jeremiah serves as the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, California, where he resides with his wife, Donna. They have four grown children and twelve grandchildren.
Read an Excerpt
You'd have to search long and hard to find a more unlikely hero than Desmond Doss, the real-life subject of the 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge. And you'd be equally hard-pressed to find a better representative for the theme of this book: how to live as an Overcomer.
Born in Virginia in 1919 to working-class parents, Doss volunteered for the army during World War II. Due to his deep religious conviction that God had called him to never carry a weapon, he trained as a medic and was assigned to a rifle company.
Imagine refusing to carry a weapon yet being determined to go to war! Doss's convictions earned him ridicule, abuse, and contempt from his fellow soldiers and disdain from his superiors, but he never wavered. Terry Benedict, who filmed a documentary about Doss in 2004, said, "He just didn't fit into the Army's model of what a good soldier would be."
But all that changed in April 1945, when Doss's company fought the Battle of Okinawa, the bloodiest battle of the Pacific war. The key to winning Okinawa was gaining a Japanese stronghold atop a four-hundred-foot sheer cliff the Americans called Hacksaw Ridge. A bloody battle raged, but the Japanese held their ground. Finally, Doss's battalion was ordered to retreat.
But Doss could see American bodies strewn across the field, and he knew there were wounded among them. He stayed behind and, with machine gun and artillery fire bursting around him, ran repeatedly into the kill zone, carrying wounded GIs to the edge of the cliff and singlehandedly lowering them to safety in a makeshift rope gurney.
For twelve hours, he repeated this grueling task until he was sure no wounded American was left on the escarpment. By the time he finally left the ridge, Desmond Doss had saved the lives of seventy-five men!
Days later, the Americans took Hacksaw Ridge while Doss lay wounded in a base hospital. When his commanding officer brought him the precious charred and soggy Bible he'd lost in the initial assault, he was told every able man in the company — the same men who once ridiculed him for his faith — had insisted on searching for his Bible until it was found.
For his incredible feat, Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Years later, he was asked how he found the strength to continue that night. His answer was simple. Each time he finished lowering another wounded man to safety down the cliff, he prayed, "Lord, just help me get one more."
As Desmond Doss discovered, overcoming is a spiritual issue. But the idea of "overcoming" also has a military meaning: to conquer. As members of God's kingdom, we're called to conquer the barriers between who we are and who God wants us to be. Our goal is to "come over" from where we are today, and to flourish as the person God made us to be.
The obstacles we must overcome fall into three main categories: sin, the world, and the devil. Our own sinful nature is an obstacle; the temptations of the world are an obstacle; and the devil himself is an obstacle. Thankfully, in each case, God has equipped us to overcome every barrier in our path, as we'll discover starting in chapter 2.
In my estimation, David is the Old Testament's greatest Overcomer, and he is the poster child for the lessons we are about to learn. David fought a lot of battles during his life, but it's his first we all remember best — the day he defeated the giant Goliath.
In this first chapter of Overcomer, I invite you to take a fresh look at this well-known story. Listen to it as if you'd never heard it before, because I will use it to help you understand what it means to be an Overcomer. As you learn how David found the strength and courage to face down his giant, you'll discover how to overcome the challenges in your own life.
THE OVERCOMER'S CHALLENGE
In Israel today, there's a place where a deep ravine lies between two tall hills. This is believed to be the site where the battle between David and Goliath occurred.
On one hill was the army of Israel. On the other was the army of the Philistines. Down in the valley between them was a plain about one hundred yards wide — the length of a modern football field.
In the middle of that plain, between these two armies, stood a huge man named Goliath. And from the side of the Israelites came a teenage boy named David.
The story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 is not just a story about a boy fighting a giant. It's the conflict of the ages. It's the story of the battle that's raged since Satan first rebelled against God. The story of good versus evil; the challenge to the living God by the devil and his forces.
But first, how did these two unlikely opponents get there?
Let's start with Goliath.
The Bible specifically calls Goliath the champion of the Philistines and tells us he came from Gath, a well-known Old Testament city. Gath is the place the spies referred to when they returned to Moses with an evil report about the promised land. It was in Gath, according to the unbelieving spies, that giants existed — giants so huge that next to them they felt like grasshoppers.
One scholar claims that the portrayal of Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 is the most detailed physical description of any man found in Scripture.
THE SIZE OF GOLIATH
"And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span" (1 Sam. 17:4).
During a time when the average man's height was about five feet tall, the measurements of Goliath are astounding. He stood "six cubits and a span," which means he was somewhere between nine foot six and nine foot nine.
That would make him at least two feet taller than the biggest players in professional basketball. And more than a foot taller than the tallest human alive today, Sultan Kösen, who measures eight feet three inches tall. But Goliath wasn't just tall and skinny. He was a huge man who probably weighed between four and five hundred pounds.
THE SIGHT OF GOLIATH
In his book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, author Malcolm Gladwell describes Goliath's armor in detail:
To protect himself against blows to the body, he wore an elaborate tunic made up of hundreds of overlapping bronze fishlike scales. It covered his arms and reached to his knees and probably weighed more than a hundred pounds. He had bronze shin guards protecting his legs, with attached bronze plates covering his feet. He wore a heavy metal helmet. He had three separate weapons, all optimized for close combat. He held a thrusting javelin made entirely of bronze, which was capable of penetrating a shield or even armor. He had a sword on his hip. And as his primary option, he carried a special kind of short-range spear with a metal shaft as "thick as a weaver's beam." ...
Can you see why no Israelite would come forward to fight Goliath?
To make matters worse, Goliath did not offer a one-time threat. Oh no. He came twice a day for six weeks, standing in the valley and shouting out his challenge every morning and every night.
THE SHOUT OF GOLIATH
Imagine this unnatural, huge beast of a man stomping to the middle of the plain in front of you and bellowing threats.
Then [Goliath] stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, "Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us." And the Philistine said, "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together." (vv. 8–10)
What does the voice of a man the size of Goliath sound like? A bellow to shake your soul, is what I imagine. A sound to strike terror into the hearts of the Israelites, as if his size hadn't already done that. He roared loud enough to be heard on both sides of a plain the size of football field, demanding that one man, just one, come and face him in single combat.
And not one man among the Israelites could bring himself to answer.
Single combat was a common practice in the ancient world. Rather than wipe out the enemy and lose all those potential servants, the Philistines preferred to settle their fights economically. Each side sent one man to fight, and those two men fought to the death. The winner's nation was declared victorious.
The loser's nation was enslaved, brutalized, and worse.
Who can blame the Israelites for not responding to Goliath's invitation? Their choice was certain death or certain slavery, and they all understood this. Who among us, doubting our skill and strength, lacking the power of the Lord, would want to be the man who faced that fate?
THE OVERCOMER'S CHARACTER
It was going to take some kind of warrior to confront Goliath. No one in King Saul's army was prepared to accept the job. But then, here came David.
David was the youngest of Jesse's eight sons. Although he had been anointed by the prophet Samuel as the next king of Israel, his time to rule had not yet come and he was still home with his family. Meanwhile, his three older brothers had followed Saul to the battle.
One day Jesse told David to go and check on his brothers, and to take them and their captain provisions. A wise father, Jesse not only wanted to ensure his sons had food, but also that their captain viewed them favorably. And, like any concerned father, he wanted news of how they were doing: "See how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them" (v. 18).
When his father sent him on this errand, it must have been thrilling for the boy to run off and see the armies. But, as excited as he was, he did something significant before he left that morning. He tended to his responsibilities and made sure someone would be caring for the sheep (v. 20).
That's an important point, a small but telling character trait. Overcomers concentrate on details that go unnoticed by others. They do what needs to be done, even when no one is watching.
THE CONVICTION OF DAVID
When David got to the camp, he dutifully found the supply master and gave him the supplies he'd brought. Then he ran to the army and greeted his brothers. As they were talking, Goliath strode out on the field below and shouted his challenge.
David seemed shocked that no one answered. He asked the men around him, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel?" (v. 26). The soldiers answered that the king would give that man great riches, his daughter in marriage, and exempt his father's house from taxes.
That was quite an incentive.
While it was hard for David to understand why no one had taken up the call to defend Israel, it was even more appalling to David that Saul had not risen to the challenge himself. Saul stood head and shoulders above all his soldiers, and he was their king; he should have been the one to respond to Goliath's threat in the full power and strength of the Lord.
But Saul's relationship with God had deteriorated so much that he was operating in the flesh. He'd lost his ability to trust in the Living God.
So David volunteered!
THE COURAGE OF DAVID
Before David declared he would fight Goliath, something happened that reveals the human side of overcoming — a side that hasn't changed since biblical times. When David's oldest brother, Eliab, heard him asking about the reward, he was furious.
"Why did you come down here?" Eliab demanded. "And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle" (v. 28).
David responded, "What have I done now? Is there not a cause?" (v. 29).
This was a brilliant answer. David both deflected Eliab's anger and brought the focus back to the matter at hand. "Don't be angry at me," he basically said. "Isn't there something more important for us to be thinking about?"
When a man or woman decides to be a champion for God, they set themselves up for a lot of heat and criticism. But like David, we can stand firm in our convictions when we are following the Lord and His calling.
THE CONFIDENCE OF DAVID
Then David declared that he would fight Goliath. Imagine the response! There must have been derision, laughter, and disbelief slowly turning to consternation and anger. Or would there have been awe? Surely some of the soldiers felt dread — both for the terrible fate this boy would face and for themselves, with what seemed to be their inevitable fate finally at hand.
When Saul heard of it, he summoned David. At first he tried to talk the boy out of it, reminding David of his youth and inexperience, and that Goliath was an experienced and trained warrior — "a man of war from his youth" (v. 33).
But David was steadfast. He knew his power was in the Lord. His courage was truly a product of his faith in God. Without God, David was powerless against that giant; but with God, he could overcome the fiercest man alive.
Unable to talk David out of the battle, Saul offered him his armor. But when David put it on, he couldn't walk. So, he took it all off. It was the king's own royal armor, surely the best in the whole army, but David knew he shouldn't wear it. If he couldn't walk, how could he fight?
THE OVERCOMER'S CONQUEST
Let's stop here and note that the three terms describing Goliath are all physical: size, sight, and shout. But the three terms describing David are all spiritual: conviction, courage, and confidence.
This is a key observation as we witness what happens next.
David headed for the plain. On the way, he stopped in a brook, gathered five smooth stones, and put them in his shepherd's pouch. With a sling in his hand, he approached Goliath.
It's worth taking a moment to understand the importance of the sling in biblical times:
Ancient armies had three kinds of warriors. The first was cavalry — armed men on horseback or in chariots. The second was infantry — foot soldiers wearing armor and carrying swords and shields. The third were projectile warriors, or what today would be called artillery: archers and, most important, slingers. Slingers had a leather pouch attached on two sides by a long strand of rope. They would put a rock or a lead ball into the pouch, swing it around in increasingly wider and faster circles, and then release one end of the rope, hurling the rock forward.
Slinging took an extraordinary amount of skill and practice. But in experienced hands, the sling was a devastating weapon. ... In the Old Testament Book of Judges, slingers are described as being accurate within a "hair's breadth." An experienced slinger could kill or seriously injure a target at a distance of up to two hundred yards. ... Imagine standing in front of a Major League Baseball pitcher as he aims a baseball at your head. That's what facing a slinger was like — only what was being thrown was not a ball of cork and leather but a solid rock.
When Goliath saw David, he was insulted, even outraged.
"Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" he said, and cursed David by his gods, probably using the name of Dagon, whom David knew to be a false god. This was an insult to the Living God of David.
Then Goliath goaded the boy even more. "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" (vv. 43–44).
Imagine what Goliath must have thought. He'd been coming to that valley every day for six weeks, waiting for somebody brave enough to meet him in battle, and all he ever saw were Israel's terrified soldiers. Then he saw a boy with no armor, no shield, and no sword.
Verse 42 says that Goliath "disdained" David, which literally means "he curled his lip."
You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands. (vv. 45–47)
This was the moment of truth. David had just infuriated the biggest bully on the block, and if God wasn't who David said He was, David would be history. David purposely intimidated Goliath, and in doing so set himself up to win the battle.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Overcomer"
Copyright © 2018 David P. Jeremiah.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Overcomer, 1,
Chapter 2: Overcoming Weakness with Strength, 23,
Chapter 3: Overcoming Falsehood with Truth, 43,
Chapter 4: Overcoming Evil with Good, 63,
Chapter 5: Overcoming Anxiety with Peace, 83,
Chapter 6: Overcoming Fear with Faith, 105,
Chapter 7: Overcoming Confusion with Wisdom, 125,
Chapter 8: Overcoming Temptation with Scripture, 143,
Chapter 9: Overcoming Everything with Prayer, 163,
Chapter 10: Overcoming Death with Life, 185,
About the Author, 219,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Overcomer by Dr. David Jeremiah has blessed my socks off with the Truth that drips from the pages. It’s challenged me with Truth and sent me to the Word. It’s spoken Truth in ways that I need to hear and more than once. I need to embrace these Truths and live in light of His Word which this author brings out on every page. I love the way he brings everyday stories in showing me his meaning and by bringing these in it’s powerful and heavy. He speaks of the Armor we, as believers, are to put on and walk in every day. I’m so blessed to have been confronted by this written work. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This book will empower you to be all God has created you to be. To be an overcomer and not be overcome by your circumstances. If you want a book with practical advice and will encourage you to live beyond your circumstances but not give you some pat answers that we over and over then this is the book for you. A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
OVERCOMER 8 Ways to Live a Life of Unstoppable Strength Unmovable Faith, and Unbelievable Power By Dr. David Jeremiah This is a collection of stories about those who have overcome hardships in life. Those who do what many thinks is impossible. The stories are about different people in the Bible and those that you may have heard about in the news and those not in the news. Stories of King David and Saul, stories of many who achieved great things after having a bad start in life and shows how our faith in God is a major help. The stories are very interesting to read and show just how, with God’s help, we can become an overcomer as well. Dr. Jeremiah shares things that have happen to him over his years of ministry and of people he knows. Each chapter contains stories that fit with the armor of God that we need to be wearing and each part of the armor is explained in detail, adding to the stories that are shared. Each chapter end with a Bible verse that are uplifting and will give you something to think about. Here is a quote from the book about overcoming; “Jesus overcame the one who held the power of death, the devil, and freed us from the fear of death. Because of Jesus, we can clothe ourselves and stand in joyful triumph. Just when it seemed humanity was overcome by death, Satan was overcome by Christ. Doubt was overcome by truth, and grief was overcome by joy.” The book is well written and has a lot of information about many different subjects. It can be used in discussion groups, as a Bible study or just for a casual reading. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
This is one of those books that came into my life at the perfect time. On October 10, my life changed forever…I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and am now trying to be still as the Lord fights the biggest battle I’ve ever faced. It’s very easy to have faith when things are going great but when your world is shattered and almost everything is taken from you, it gets much harder. This book is amazing…each chapter teaches us how to overcome something difficult with something that comes from God (overcoming anxiety with peace, fear with faith, temptation with scripture, everything with prayer). I devoured this book because it was so relevant to my life and gave me so much peace and filled me with joy. I consider this book to be what I call a “kiss from the King”, which is something that God gives me to show me His love. This is a book I will read over and over, both during my difficult journey now and also during future journeys. I couldn’t recommend this book enough…it’s a book that every Christian can benefit from. It’s easy to read and full of scripture. I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Overcomer 8 Ways to Live a Life of Unstoppable Strength, Unmovable Faith, and Unbelievable Power By Dr. David Jeremiah is a brand new book to inspire and encourage Christians as they face problems in life. The author Dr. Jeremiah acknowledges that just because you are born again, that life's problems and challenges don't simply disappear. This book goes through detail how to overcome challenges and obstacles. The author addresses fears of death, anxiety, weakness, honesty as well as other issues that are frequently stumbling blocks. Using personal anecdotes as well as inspirational true stories from accounts that he has collected over the years, this book shows how ordinary people can display strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome any obstacle or challenge. Essentially this book shows the reader there is nothing to big for God to handle. Even in a seemingly hopeless situation, there is always a lesson to learn and a way to overcome. This book is a perfect outreach opportunity to give to anyone who may be struggling with life. As a blogger I received this book published by Thomas Nelson publishers for the purpose of writing this review.
Dr. David Jeremiah is one of my favorite Preacher/Teachers to watch on TV. I have read some of his previous books and found them very helpful. Therefore, I was very excited when OVERCOMER was released. This is a book I will reread several times. I have highlighted so many passages, it looks as if my entire book is highlighted. Dr. Jeremiah has taken one of my favorite passages (Ephesians 6:10-18). With his spiritual knowledge and love of scripture he explains Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus. If you have wondered about the armor or weapons listed and their uses, you will want to read this book. We do not have to be defeated. God has given us all we need to fight our battles. It's time that we claim the promises in God's word. Just as the title says, we can be OVERCOMERS. Dr. Jeremiah, as he tells in his book, has faced some life changing obstacles, having Hodgkin Lymphoma and now being cancer free. His book “When Your World Falls Apart” was a big help and so encouraging when my husband got his diagnoses. I can not say enough about OVERCOMER. I feel every Christian should read this book. I believe it would make a wonderful gift. I was given a copy of this book by Thomas Nelson through NetGalleys. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.